Ways to keep your family cool in the Phoenix Heat for cheap

Ways to keep your family cool in the Phoenix Heat for cheap

This summer is heating up fast in Phoenix and that can only mean one thing…what is there to do in the heat that won’t break the bank! A limited budget doesn’t mean you have to limit your fun this summer. Check out all the free and budget friendly activities that can keep your family cool in the phoenix heat.

The Free Stuff
Zero budgets are broken when the activity is free. Believe it or not, there are free things you can do with the whole family while it is hot outside. This list is perfect for all budgets.

  • Splash pads: grab your swimming suit and sunscreen while you head out the door to one of Phoenix’s many splash pads. You might need to get there early to grab a good spot, but your kids will thank you. Pack a lunch and opt for a picnic in the park when your kids are ready to dry off.
  • Hike a mountain: If your family is the early bird type, then a free hike up one of the many mountains surrounding Phoenix is just the ticket. Be sure to go early, bring plenty of water and slather on the sun block. Be sure to leave the family dog at home. They can succumb to heat exhaustion quicker than you think.
  • Outdoor Concerts: Music lovers head to your local park for free outdoor concerts this summer.
  • Trolley Tour: Downtown Scottsdale offers free monthly art and culture trolley tours.
  • Window Shopping: Beat the heat and save on your own home’s a/c by window shopping in one of the many malls surrounding Phoenix. There’s no requirement to buy anything at all, but you might want to have a few dollars handy just in case you change your mind.
  • Flea markets, swap meets and thrift stores: when you have exhausted all malls, head over to a flea market, swap meet or thrift store. More window shopping can happen there, but keep in mind these might not be totally indoors.
  • Museums: Phoenix has its fair share of museums and on certain days, the entry fee is waived. Just check the website to be sure of the day and time to get this indoor activity done this summer for zero dollars.


Budget up to $20/person

Perhaps you don’t mind spending a few dollars to escape your house and beat that darn Phoenix summer heat. Being mindful of your budget is great, but spending a few extra bucks is worth the entertainment. These are some options for this price range.

  • Public Swimming Pools: believe it or not, many of the public swimming pools and aquatic centers only charge a nominal fee for use. Find the pool nearest to your family and you might be surprised to see how affordable it can be.
  • Lake Day: You can spend an entire summer day at one of the numerous lakes that you can find in and around the Phoenix area. Each one has a different fee, but they are relatively low. You can even choose to setup camp at some of the locations.
  • Bowling: Bowling alleys tend to have tons of fun included. Games typically are under $5 and you can order food or play video games too.
  • The movies: Save big by grabbing a matinee and enjoy the cool a/c and popcorn.
  • Indoor amusement parks: there are several indoor places to amuse your whole family around the valley and most are affordable.


When You Are Ready to Splurge

Maybe you haven’t spent your tax refund yet, or you just want to go hog wild this summer. There are plenty of activities you can choose from if your budget is a bit looser. Here are some great options your whole family can enjoy without breaking a sweat.

  • Odysea Aquarium: indoor fun and all the ocean life you can handle.
  • Butterfly Wonderland: a rainforest in the Phoenix desert.
  • Legoland: the ultimate indoor playground.
  • iFly: indoor skydiving.
  • Resort: snag a weekend getaway at one of the many luxurious summer resort hotels in Phoenix.
  • Get out of town: travel north to Prescott or Flagstaff to enjoy cooler temperatures and more activities.
  • Waterparks: bringing the whole family to a waterpark can spark joy this summer. Find a lazy river for mom, wave pool for dad and all the twisty slides for the kids! There’s even an indoor waterpark coming soon in Scottsdale.